Those Who Also Served (Surnames M to R):
The following are short biographies of the men of Ruskington who enlisted during the Great War with surnames beginning ‘M’ to ‘R’.
Remembered on this page are:
- Private 27095 Henry MARRIOTT
- Private 27758 Herbert MARSHALL
- A.B. 226620 John Oswald MARSHALL
- Lieutenant Charles Audrey MYERS
- Private 40863 William Henry NORTH
- Major Arthur Larkin PARKER
- 2/Lieutenant Frank PATTINSON
- Captain Henry Pratt PATTINSON
- Private 5368 (Samuel) Harmston PATTINSON
- Gunner 142899 Arthur Edward PEATMAN
- Private 605246 Henry (Harry) PELL
- Lance Corporal 9141 Alfred PHILLIPS
- Private 10886 Frederick PHILLIPS
- Private 16/212 Charles Henry Dawson PICKWORTH
- Sergeant 9845 Charles PRICE, D.C.M.
- Private 203757 Frank Thomas PURNELL
- AB F.52069 Joseph George REAST
- Private 12947 William ROBINSON
- Private 3706 Frederick Joseph RUSSELL
- Corporal 375928 George Wells RUSSELL
Private 27095 Henry (Harry) MARRIOTT – was born on 26 December 1877 at Back Lane, Stickford, Lincolnshire, the son of William (Agricultural Labourer) and Martha (née Woods) Marriott. He had three younger siblings, John, Harriett and Jane (1891 Census RG 12/2580). In 1891 the family was living at Dansbury Cottages, South Raucesby, nr. Sleaford.
Henry (Harry) cannot be found on the 1901 or 1911 Censuses, although his sister, Jane Marriott, was living at her mother’s house, Knipton Houses, Ruskington, with her children, George and Bertie (see below), at . Jane had two other children, Reuben Fallier Woods Marriott (born 23 July 1912) – see below – and Arthur Marriott (born in 1915). In the 1911 Census, however, Jane describes herself as “Single“.
When he enlisted in 1914, however, Henry gave his home address as the same as his family in Ruskington, and his next-of-kin as his mother.
[N.B. Jane’s son, Private 4967751 Bertie MARRIOTT, served with the 1/5th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) in World War 2. He died as a Prisoner of War on 24 August 1945, aged 39.]
[N.B. Bertie’s brother, Trooper 7881873 Reuben MARRIOTT, served with the Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps. in North Africa. He was Killed in Action on 24 November 1941.]
Private 4078 Henry Marriott had previously served with the 1st Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment. He enlisted on 21 January 1895 and served in the Sudan Campaign, 1896-1898, earning ‘The Atbara‘ and ‘Khartoum‘ Clasps to the Sudan Medal – as shown on the left. This service may have accounted for why he was absent from the 1901 Census.
Henry re-enlisted in the 6th (Service) Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, at Lincoln, aged 39 years 212 days. He was called up for service on 25 July 1916 and posted to the 9th (Reserve) Battalion.
On 24 October 1916 Henry joined the 7th Battalion, in France, but barely a fortnight later, on 12 November, returned home to the 6th Battalion, presumably after being wounded.
“The Sleaford Gazette” of 22 September 1917 reported that Henry had come home for a 10 day furlough, shortly after returning to his Regiment after “… suffering a slight wound“. He was awarded the Silver War Badge, no. B.8207 on 26 September 1918.
After being discharged, due to his wounds, on 10 September 1918, being “… no longer physically fit for War Service.“, Henry was awarded a weekly pension of 16s. 6d. [£0.82 – about £60 p.w. today – 2023] for the following 39 weeks. Pension Records show he had received a “Gunshot wound, left knee“.
Private 27758 Herbert MARSHALL – according to his Service Papers Herbert was born 0n 5 July 1897, the son of Richard William (Stonemason) and Ann (née Wainer) Marshall. In 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) Herbert was living on High Street, Ruskington, with his parents and three older sisters, Nova Scotia Hughes (born in ‘Atlantic Ocean’, New Brunswick, Canada), Alice and Carrie, and younger sister, Ethel. (The eldest child, Rebecca Anne, born in Maryland, USA, in 1889, died in 1901, aged 12.)
[Not long after Richard’s marriage to Ann Wainer, on 29 January 1886, they had emigrated to the U.S., arriving in New York on 25 February 1886. However, they must have returned to Ruskington before the birth of their third child, Alice, in 1892.]
In 1911 (Census RG 14/19618) Herbert and his younger sister Alice were still living with their parents, on High Street, and when Herbert enlisted in 1918 he gave his next of kin as his father, living on High Street.
At that time, aged 20, Herbert stood 5 ft. 9 ins. (1.75 m.) tall, weighed 10 st. 10 lbs. (68 kgs.), had a ‘fresh’ complexion, brown hair and grey eyes.
Herbert was deemed to have enlisted on 2 March 1916 and was not called up for service in the Coldstream Guards until 29 April 1918. He was posted to Caterham, Surrey, on 2 May. Whilst training there Herbert gained a “… working knowledge of the Lewis Gun.”
The War ended, however, before he could see action, and Herbert has no Medal Index Card, indicating he did not serve overseas. Herbert was transferred to “Class ‘Z’, Army Reserve on Demobilisation” on 9 February 1919. [See: below under Private 5368 (Samuel) Harmston PATTINSON to explain what ‘Class Z’ meant.]
After the War, in the December quarter 1923, Herbert married Doris M. Bristow, in Lincoln, and they had two children, Eric, born 29 February 1924, and Ruth, born in 1926. In 1939 the Census Returns of that year show that the family was living at 40 Vine Street, Lincoln, and Herbert was working as a ‘Machinist – Grinder’.
Herbert died, in Lincoln, in the June quarter 1976. His parents, Richard William (died January 1928) and Ann (died September 1922), are buried together in Grave 51, Old Plot, East Border, of Ruskington Cemetery.
A.B. 226620 John Oswald MARSHALL – was born on 14th August 1888 at Church Yard Cottage, Ruskington, the son of John (Plumber) and Susannah Marshall. He had two younger siblings, Elizabeth Winifred and Florence Ann. After Susannah’s death in July 1892, John re-married Sarah King, in the December quarter 1892. He died on 7th April 1916 and was buried in Ruskington Cemetery, Grave B.5.
In 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) the family was living at The Old Vicarage, Ruskington. 10 years later (1911 Census RG 14/19618) they were still in the village and John was working as a “Cycle Dealer“.
On 18th September 1916 John married Harriett Ann Gadd, in Navenby, Lincolnshire, and they had three children, John Miller, born 17th June 1917, Oswald Peter (see below), born 17th July 1920, and Derek, born 10th October 1923.
On 13th March 1917 John enlisted in the Royal Navy, hoping to train for the Air Service (R.N.A.S.). His first posting was to the shore based HMS President II. After 5 months service at Cherbourg (July – December 1917) John was posted to HMS Daedalus, the Naval Seaplane Training School, on 1st January 1918. However, he was discharged from Service on 31st March 1918.
The 1939 Register shows the family were living on the corner of High Street and Church Street where John had a Motor Mechanic business. John was also volunteering as a ‘Special Constable‘.
Harriett was 80 when she died on 20th July 1968 and John Oswald 90 on his death on 18th April 1979. They are buried together in Graves 57 and 58, Ruskington Cemetery, New Plot, Section E.
Their son, Pilot Officer Oswald Peter MARSHALL, R.A.F.V.R., was killed in action on 16 July 1943 over France, whilst piloting a Halifax Bomber.
Lieutenant Charles Audrey MYERS – was born on 15 January 1876 in Ruskington, the son of Rev. Arthur (Rector) and Edith Paulina (née Pickering) Myers. He had two older siblings, Mary Ethel (born 21 September 1872) and Frederick Pickering, (born 3 September 1874, in Ruskington, and two younger siblings, Hugh Martindale (born 23 December 1880, in Ruskington, died 13 March 1883) and Frieda Elizabeth (born 15 October 1884).
The Myers family had a long association with Ruskington Church. Rev. John Myers (1764-1831) was Rector from 1794-1831, his cousin’s son, Revd. Charles John Myers (1800-1870) was Rector from 1832-1870 and was also patron of the living. Rev. Arthur Myers [left] (1846-1916) succeeded his father and was Rector from 1870-1892 when the two medieties were combined after the death of the Vicar, Grover Scarr, in 1873.
Charles’ father, Arthur, retired in 1892, due to ill health and the family moved to Nottingham, where Arthur died on 19 March 1916. Charles, meanwhile, had moved to live at ‘Parkfield’, St. Asaph, South Wales, living on “Private Means” (1911 Census RG 14/34135).
After Arthur’s death on 19 March 1916 he was buried in Ruskington Cemetery, Old Plot, West Border. A year later “The Sleaford Gazette” of 17 March 1917 reported: “An interesting ceremony took place in the Parish Church, on Wednesday week at noon [i.e. 7th March], when the Right Rev. the Bishop of Grantham unveiled and dedicated a mural tablet to the memory of the late Rev. A. Myers. …. The Bishop was met at the Church door by the Rector and surpliced choir, when Mr. Councillor J. Reast presented on behalf of the Urban District Council the petition asking for the grave spaces purchased by the family of the late Rev, A. Myers to be consecrated, and the Rector did the same in respect to the tablet.” Later in the Report it added: “Sergeant A.C. Myers [sic] (son) was present”.
Thus “The Myers Plot”, as it came to be known, became the only Plot in the Cemetery not to be of secular status. The Cemetery Vault consists of a brick chamber to hold six coffins and is covered by a solid block of Granite about 6 inches [15 cms.] thick, undressed and rough surface, but with six polished spaces for inscriptions.
Subsequently, members of the Myers family were interred in the Vault until all six places were taken up.
Charles had enlisted in the Royal Army Service Corps, initially as Private, S4/263134, before rising to the rank of Lieutenant. In the December quarter 1917 he married Florence Gwendoline Burton in Worcester. Their son, Charles Arthur was born on 29 September 1923. Charles was buried in the family vault, in Ruskington, after his death in Worcester on 23 July 1959, aged 93.
Along with Arthur himself (born 3 April 1847, died 9 March 1916), also buried in the vault are his second son, Charles Audrey, “Lieutenant R.S.C. 1914 – 18 War”; his wife Florence Gwendoline (died 12 November 1986) and their son, Charles Arthur (29 September 1923 – 27 February 1998) and Charlotte Rowena, “Beloved wife of Charles Arthur“, born 12 October 1912, died 4 August 2005.
Edith Paulina (née Pickering) Myers [right], wife of Arthur, is commemorated on the Vault lid, even though – as the inscription reads – she is buried near Aberdeen. When she died on 26 February 1953 she was 2 months from her 101 birthday.
Private 40863 William Henry NORTH – was born on 3 October 1896 at Ruskington Road, Dorrington, Lincolnshire. His parents were William (Farm Labourer) and Allissimon [Alice] (née Pattinson) North and he had three older sisters, Lucy Ann, Ada and Fanny, and a younger brother, John. (1901 Census RG 13/3047)
By 1911 William sisters, Lucy Ann and Fanny, both died in 1906, Lucy on 1 January and Fanny on 12 May. The surviving family had moved to Roxholme, near Sleaford, Lincolnshire, and 14 year old William was also working as a “Labourer on Farm”.
William enlisted in the Leicestershire Regiment on 11 December 1915. “The Sleaford Gazette” of 20 April 1918 recorded that “Pte. W. H. North, of the Leicesters, has been wounded in the wrist and back and is at present in hospital at Leicester“. He was awarded the Silver War Badge (No. B.278084) and discharged on 9 August 1919.
After his discharge William returned to his work as a farm labourer in the village and married Elizabeth Hutchinson in the June quarter 1921. The 1939 Register shows them living on High Street North.
He died on 29 February 1972, aged 75, and was buried in Grave D.396, Ruskington Cemetery. His widow, Ethel, was buried with him after her death at 46 Cornwall Way, on 3 August 1983, aged 84.
Major Arthur Larkin PARKER – was born on 3 June 1888 in Sholden, Kent, the son of Stephen (Nurseryman) and Emily Parker. He had an older brother, William George, a younger sister, Harriett Minnie, and a younger brother, John. In 1901 (Census RG 13/709) they were living at Rose Bank Cottage, Ash, Kent.
The 1911 Census (RG 14/19867) shows Arthur boarding at The Old Lifeboat House, Skegness, Lincolnshire, employed as a “Surveyor Assistant” with Skegness U.D.C. He married Annie Elizabeth Shepherd in Ruskington in the December quarter 1912 and they had two children, Barbara Elizabeth, born 25 September 1913, and John, born 23 February 1926.
Annie was born in Sheffield on 15 April 1888, the daughter of George and Letitia (née Reast) Shepherd, but shortly afterward the family moved to Prospect Villa, Ruskington, 1891 Census (RG 12/2577) where George was “Living on own means”. They were at the same address in 1911 (Census RG 14/19618).
On 21 July 1917 “The Sleaford Gazette” reported:
“INJURED IN FRANCE. We regret to learn that Mr. Arthur Larkin Parker, engineer and surveyor to the Oakham Urban District Council, met with a motor accident in France whilst proceeding to inspect his men at work and has sustained a severe injury to his leg. He is lying at the Officers Ward 2nd Southern General Hospital, Bristol. Mr. Parker was appointed Regimental Technical Officer Gazetted to the D.L.I. and proceeded to France on the 15th April last. It is satisfactory to learn that he is making favourable progress, Mr. Parker is son-in-law of G. and L. Shepherd, of Prospect Villa, with whom Mrs. Parker and her children are staying.”
Arthur’s Medal Index Card shows that entered France in April 1917 as a 2nd Lieutenant. He later transferred to the Labour Corps with the Rank of Major. The address on his M.I.C. is ‘Padstow’, Middleton Hall Road, Kings Norton, Birmingham. Pension Records show he was suffering from “Synovitis”.
Arthur and Annie were living at ‘Bye-ways’, Send Lane, Ripley, Surrey, in 1939 (Register) and working as a “Civil Engineer (Travelling)”. They were at the same address when he died on 24 January 1943 at ‘Mount Alvernia’, Harvey Road, Guildford, Surrey, aged 54. Annie died in the September quarter 1976, in Sheffield, aged 88.
He had six older brothers and sisters, Anne Elizabeth, Nellie, Lilian, Samuel Harmston [see below], Ethel and Marian. (1901 Census RG 13/3048)
However, the first four of his siblings were by his father’s first marriage to Frances Harmston. She died in 1882, aged 32, and is buried in All Saints’ Churchyard, Ruskington, Grave 80.
Samuel Francis, Frank’s father, died in September 1920, and is buried in the Pattinson Family Plot in Ruskington Cemetery, Old South Border, Grave 46.
The family moved to Brook House, Ruskington by 1901, but in 1911 (Census RG 14/19618) Frank was listed as still at “School“, which was perhaps unusual for a 15 year-old at that time.
It could be that Frank was at a boarding or military School, which would account for his rapid rise through the ranks after he enlisted.
Frank enlisted in the 2nd/4th (Territorial) Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, as a Private, on 2 November 1914. He was offered a Commission in the 9th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment on 1 March 1915 and trained at Lichfield, Staffordshire. (see London Gazette, 3 November 1916)
He volunteered for active service and in September 1915 was posted to the Dardanelles on 6 October. This would not have been with the 9th Battalion, however, as on 10 April 1915 it had become a Reserve Battalion. In November 1915 Frank was reported as being in Hospital in Alexandria, Egypt.
After the War Frank’s Medal Index Card shows that he remained in the Army and, after transferring to the 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, was posted to Poona, India, on 13 July 1921. He retired and was demobilised on 20 August 1921.
In 1939 Frank (‘Army Officer – Retired’) was living at Brook Cottage, Brook Street, Blyth, Suffolk, with his sister, Marian, acting as his housekeeper. He was also working as a ‘Special Constable’, no doubt as part of the War effort. He died at Ipswich, Suffolk, in the March quarter 1982, aged 86.
Captain Henry Pratt PATTINSON –was born on 27 November 1896, the eldest son of Robert Knight (Railway Buildings Contractor and J.P.) and Catherine Lucy (née Pratt) Pattinson, J.P. of “Southfields”, Station Road, Ruskington.
Henry had a younger sister, Katherine Mary and a younger brother, William Pratt. (1911 Census RG 14/19618). However, Henry has not been found on the 1911 Census, possibly he was away at boarding school at Haileybury School, Hertford. He returned from School in the Summer 1914, with a view to joining his father’s business, but immediately volunteered once War was declared.
Whilst at School it was recorded that Henry had a greater reputation as a football player than as a scholar, although he was regarded as too young for a place on the school’s first eleven. In the school OTC Battalion his superiors reported that he “shows no special aptitude for military duties,” but as soon as the war broke out he offered his services.
He was rejected on his first two applications, but be persisted, and the authorities finally stretched a point, and Henry obtained a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the 8th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment in September 1914.
On 21 June 1915 he obtained his ‘company rank’, i.e. Captain, and was posted to France with his Battalion on 1 September 1915. [London Gazette, 5 February 1916]
Henry fought at the Battle of Loos and “… was in charge of the Battalion before the battle was over, owing to all his senior officers being out of action. “ This would have been after the 25/26 September 1915, when the 8th Battalion lost 155 Officers and men, all but three of which have no known grave and are commemorated on the Loos Memorial.
Including the missing and wounded the total casualties during the Battle of Loos was 22 Officers and 471 Other Ranks out of a Battalion strength on 10 September 1915, when they sailed from Folkestone to Boulogne, of 28 Officers and 995 Other Ranks.
The Battalion History reads: “The Battalion Commanding Officer, Lieut.-Colonel H. E. Walter was killed whilst leading his men forward. A counterattack by the Lincolns retook part of Bois Hugo. However, the Germans attacked again and gained complete control of Bois Hugo.
In the late afternoon the Germans rushed the remaining entrenched Lincolns. The dwindling number of Lincolns were almost surrounded and were forced to retire. Under pressure from the German advance the few officers and men who survived withdrew.
In fact, all officers of the Battalion became casualties, and only four remained. Capt. H. Pattinson being the senior surviving officer assumed command. He was promoted to the rank of major at the age of 20. ” [The C.O. was Lt. Col. Harold Ernest WALTER, buried in Douai Communal Cemetery.]
Henry is recorded as being Battalion Commanding Officer between 29 September and 10 October 1915. In February 1916 within a few days of his 19th birthday, Henry was Gazetted a Major, and the news cutting shown puts his achievement into some perspective.
He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in December 1914. “The Sleaford Gazette” reported his commission in the edition of 3 October 1914.
“The Sleaford Journal” (12 February 1916) printed the same photo as above under the heading: “THE YOUNGEST MAJOR IN THE ARMY“, and went on:
“The youngest Major in the King’s Army – or probably any other Army – is Major Henry Pattinson, eldest son of Alderman R. Pattinson, J.P., of Ruskington, who was gazetted to that important position soon after reaching his 19th birthday, which was celebrated in January, the notification of his promotion being made public on Monday last, in the usual manner when it was learnt that on the day following the severe fighting at Loos, he was placed second in command of the 8th Service Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment. In fact, after that action, he was the senior surviving officer, and took charge until a new Colonel was appointed. He has already served under five commanding officers.“
“GALLANT AND DISTINGUISED CONDUCT. Three young officers, closely connected with Sleaford and the district, were honoured by being mentioned “for gallant and distinguished conduct in the field,” in the last despatch received from General Sir Douglas Haigh Commander in Chief of the British Forces in France. The first is the young Major of the Lincolnshire Regiment, Service Battalions, the eldest son of Ald. Robert Pattinson, J P., of Ruskington, whose promotion has been so rapid.“
On 29 September 1917 “The Gazette” reported further advancement for Henry when he was given a Commission in the Indian Army and appointed 2/IC of the 103rd Mahrattas “.. at one of the Military Centres in India“. The 103rd had served in Mesopotamia before returning to India by February 1917. It then served as part of the Bombay Brigade on “Defended Port Duties” before transferring to the Bannu Brigade on the North West Frontier, at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (now Pakistan).
After the War, in the March quarter 1925 Henry married Margery Estelle Stewart, in Marylebone, London, and they had one son.
The 1939 Returns show Henry and his wife at that address where he was working as a ‘District Supervisor (Furniture Shops) Retired Regular Captain Indian Army.’. They were living at 18 Carrisbrooke Avenue, Mapperley Park, Nottingham at the time.
Henry died on 23 November 1941, in the Isolation Hospital, Nottingham, aged 45, and left £434 8s 1d (£434.40 – a relative value of about £28,100 today – 2023) to his widow. He was buried in the Pattinson area of Ruskington Cemetery (Old Plot, South Border, Grave 33).
In the March quarter 1943 Margery married Denys Paul Morkel (‘Garage Proprietor’) who was living with them at the same address in 1939. Margery died in Nottingham in the September quarter 1980.
Henry’s parents, Robert and Catherine Lucy, remained in the village for the rest of their lives.
Catherine died whilst Henry was still abroad with his Regiment, in October 1917, aged 41. Robert was 82 when he died in December 1954. They are buried together in the Pattinson Family Plot in Ruskington Cemetery, Old Plot, South Border, Grave 33.
Private 5368 (Samuel) Harmston PATTINSON – was born on 25 January 1878, at Manor Farm, Ruskington, the eldest son of (Samuel) Frank (Builder) and Frances (née Harmston) Pattinson. He had three older sisters, Anne Elizabeth, Nellie and Lilian, and three younger half brothers and sisters, Ethel, Marian and Frank. [see above].
His mother, Frances, died in 1882, aged 32, and is buried in All Saints’ Churchyard, Ruskington, Grave 80. His father remarried Elizabeth Ann Garratt in 1886. Both Samuel and Elizabeth are buried in the Pattinson Family Plot in Ruskington Cemetery, Old South Border, Graves 45 & 46.
The family moved to Brook House, Ruskington by 1901, but in 1911 (Census RG 14/19618) Harmston’s employment was listed as “Government Employment, South Nigeria“.
At the time of his enlistment in January 1915 Harmston gave his occupation as “Horse Breaker” and stood 5 ft 8½ ins [1.74 m.] tall. His home address was given as Brook House, Ruskington.
He was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with 1 Clasp (South Africa 1902). The Yeomanry was founded in 1898 and disbanded in 1908.
Not surprisingly, bearing in mind his occupation, Harmston joined the Remount Department, Army Service Corps, in Lichfield, on 12 January 1915 and was posted to Woolwich. Perhaps because of his previous service and experience, he was very soon posted to France, joining the British Expeditionary Force just 14 days later. He was posted to the 17th Squadron, No 3 Base Remount Depot, which landed at Dieppe on 28 January 1915 and established at Varecqueville.
Despite having lost his left eye, Harmston was deemed fit for service and remained with his Squadron until 6 March 1918. He was transferred to the Army ‘Z’ Reserve, prior to demobilisation, which came on 18 May 1919.
(N.B. Class Z Reserve was authorised by an Army Order of 3 December 1918. There were fears that Germany would not accept the terms of any peace treaty, and therefore the British Government decided it would be wise to be able to quickly recall trained men in the eventuality of the resumption of hostilities. Soldiers who were being demobilised, particularly those who had agreed to serve “for the duration“, were at first posted to Class Z. They returned to civilian life but with an obligation to return if called upon. The Z Reserve was abolished on 31 March 1920.)
In the December quarter 1922 Samuel married Amy Holden in Grantham. Samuel and Amy became ‘Inn Keepers’ of the Crown Inn, Ketton, Rutland, as shown in the 1939 Returns.
However, Samuel died on 9 December of that year and was buried three days later in Ruskington Cemetery, Old Plot, South Border, Grave 47. Amy died in April 1952, aged 62.
Gunner 142899 Arthur Edward PEATMAN – was born in Ruskington on 3 November 1881, the son of John (Baker and Grocer) and Ellen (née Knowles) Peatman. He had two older brothers, George and William, and the family moved to the village from Nettleham, Lincolnshire, just before Arthur’s birth. (1891 Census RG 12/2577)
Ellen Peatman died on 16 November 1909, aged 59, and two years later (1911 Census RG 14/19618) Arthur and his father were in business together as bakers and grocers.
She was buried in Grave 77, Ruskington Cemetery, Old Plot, South Border. John was buried with her on 27 February 1929, aged 85, after his death three days earlier.
When Arthur died, aged 70, in August 1952 he was buried alongside his parents, in Grave 79, on the 30th.
On 24 June 1913 Arthur married Sarah Abigail Lamb (Grayson), at All Saints’ Church, Wellingore, Lincoln. They had two children, Margaret Agnes, born 30 May 1915, and Wesley Knowles, born 5 June 1917.
Arthur was mobilised and enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery at Ripon, Yorkshire, on 29 January 1917, aged 34 yrs. 175 days, having attested on 10 December 1915. He stood 5 ft. 7½ ins. [1.71 m.] tall. Arthur did not serve overseas, but was posted to an ant-aircraft battery. He transferred to the Reserve for demobilisation on 5 September 1919.
“The Sleaford Gazette” (12 January 1918) reported The Hon Secretary of the village Tuck Box Fund had received a large number of acknowledgments from the “boys” for the 10/- note [50p.] which had been sent to them for Christmas 1917 by the inhabitants of Ruskington. Arthur was one of those who had sent his thanks, adding: “I have just received the kind and welcome present of 10/- from the friends at Ruskington. Will you please accept my greatest thanks on their behalf for the warm-hearted generosity which prompted the gift.”
In 1939 (Register) the family were living at Hawthorn House, Station Road, Ruskington, and Arthur was employed as a “Journeyman House Painter”. Their son, 17 year old Wesley, was working for a “R A F No 10 Balloon Contractor”. As stated above, Arthur died in August 1952, his widow, Sarah, was 86 when she died in the September quarter 1965.
Private 16697 Henry S. (Harry) PELL – was born on 6 November 1885 in Grimsby, Lincolnshire. In 1891 (Census RG 13/3048) He was a “Boarder” at the home of John and Mary Pell on Chestnut Street, Ruskington. (11 year old Lionel Pell was also there as a “Visitor“.)
Medal Rolls show “Henry S. Pell” – as a Private 16697 in Royal Fusiliers, before transferring to the Labour Corps, Private 605246.
Henry (Harry) married Louise Emma Palmer in Edmonton, Middlesex, on 1 August 1920 and they later moved back to Ruskington. Their first child, David, died as a baby (about 18 months) in the December quarter 1924. Another son, Anthony James, was born on 18 May 1924.
Kelly’s Directory 1926, shows Henry keeping a shop (‘Stationer, News Agent, Wireless Dealer and Fancy Dealer’) on Chestnut Street, Ruskington, which conforms to the account in Henry Brown’s booklet “Memories of Life in Ruskington in the 1920s and 1930s“:
“When Harry Pell was discharged from the army after the First World War he purchased an old stone cottage and built a wooden hut in the garden from which he sold almost everything including books, tobacco, sweets, toys, medical supplies, knitting wool, sewing accessories and, in November, fireworks. He also had a newspaper round and a lending library, and was a useful source of the latest local events and village gossip.
As his business expanded he doubled the size of this sales area by adding an extension at the rear and finally demolished the hut and in the early 1930’s erected a smart new brick built house and shop on the site. After he died his son, Tony, carried on the business until forced to retire early due to ill health.”
The 1939 Register also shows that Henry and Louise were running a ‘Newsagent – Tobacconist’ on Chestnut Street with their son, Anthony.
Henry died on 27 January 1958 at 10 Chestnut Street, Ruskington, and is buried in Ruskington Cemetery, New Plot, East Border, Grave 10. His widow, Louise Emma, died in April 1968 and was buried alongside him. Probate Records show that he left an estate of almost £7,500 [about £225,000 today – 2023].
Lance Corporal 9141 Alfred PHILLIPS – was born in 1889, the son of John Thomas (Cottager) and Ann (née Coupland) Phillips of North Hills, Ruskington. He had a younger brother, Frederick [see below] [1901 Census RG 13/3048]
Before he enlisted Alfred was employed in “.. some coke mills at Selby.” [‘The Lincolnshire Chronicle’ ] However, the 1911 Census (RG 14/19757) shows him lodging at 31 Waterside South, Lincoln, employed as a ‘Labourer‘.
In 1908 Alfred’s enlistment papers described him as 5 ft. 3½ ins. [1.61 m.] tall, having grey eyes, brown hair and a ‘fair’ complexion.
Alfred had seen previous military service before he enlisted in the 3rd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment in April 1915. From 4 March 1904 to 1 March 1908 he had served in the 4th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, formed in April 1908 out of the old 1st and 2nd Volunteer Battalions.
After this service ended, on 25 March 1908, he enlisted, at Pontefract, Yorkshire, in the 2nd Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment – Private 9141. However, on 25 July 1908 he was discharged, medically unfit due to ‘caries of the dentine‘, and returned to civilian life.
Alfred enlisted again in the 3rd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment in April 1915 and was trained at Lincoln before being posted to Grimsby. The 3rd (Reserve) Battalion was a training unit that remained in UK throughout the war. The Battalion remained in Grimsby until early 1918 when moved to Cork.
[N.B. There are Records of two ‘Alfred Phillips‘ serving with the 8th and the 1st Battalions, Lincolnshire Regiment, which may have meant ‘our’ Alfred had transferred – but at present this link has not been made.]
No definitive record can be found to show that Alfred married, although it is possible he married Edith E. Alker in the September quarter 1918, in Lincoln.
Private 10886 Fred PHILLIPS – was born in the March quarter 1897 (probably 5 February), the son of John Thomas (Cottager) and Ann (née Coupland) Phillips of North Hills, Ruskington. He had a older brother, Alfred. [see above] [1901 Census RG 13/3048].
Before enlisting he was “In Farm Service”, [‘The Lincolnshire Chronicle’ ] confirmed by the 1911 Census (RG 14/19618) which recorded him working as a “Farm Boy“.
Frederick enlisted in the 8th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment towards the end of 1914. He trained at Luton, Tring and Leighton and, according to ‘The Lincolnshire Chronicle’, was posted to France in October 1915.
The nearest Medal Index Card to this date refers to Private 10886 Frederick Phillips, who landed in France on 11 September 1915.
This date coincides with the 8th (Service) Battalion which had formed at Lincoln in September 1914 as part of K3 (Kitchener’s Third New Army) and came under command of 63rd Brigade in 21st Division. On 10 September 1915 the Battalion landed at Boulogne.
… from the Battalion War Diary about its Service at the Front. (See also – Capt. Henry Pattinson, above, who served with distinction in the 8th Battn.)
[The 1939 Return shows a Frederick Phillips, born on the 4th February 1897, and his wife, Florence, living at 32 Sweetbriar Road, Leicester. Fred was employed as a ‘Civil Servant (Ministry of Labour Clerk)’. If this is ‘our’ Fred, he probably married Florence Hall in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, in the March quarter 1923.]
Private 16/212 Charles Henry Dawson PICKWORTH – was born in Billinghay, Lincolnshire, on 14 February 1891. He was the son of Charlotte Elizabeth Pickworth (Widowed in 1890) and had two older sisters, Ellen and Emily. His marriage certificate named his father as James (Grocer) which coincides with a death recorded in the Sleaford area shortly before Charles’ birth.
In the June quarter 1897 Charles’ mother died and the 1901 Census (RG 13/3048) shows that 10 year old Charles was living in the home of John (Straw Presser) and Mary Dickinson on Leasingham Lane, Ruskington. Later he lived with John Proctor, Manor Street, Ruskington.
He enlisted in the 16th Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire) Regiment (1st Bradford Pals) in October 1914 and trained at Skipton before moving to Salisbury Plain. the 16th Battalion was formed in Bradford in September 1914 by the Lord Mayor and City. In June 1915 it came under the orders of 93rd Brigade, 31st Division.
His Medal Index Card shows that on 22 December 1915 Charles was posted to Egypt with the Battalion, but their stay was short-lived, returning to France, via Marseilles, in March 1916. On 1 July 1916, the First Day of the Battle of the Somme, the 16th and 18th Battalions of the West Yorkshire Regiment, the Bradford Pals, went into action.
The objective of their attack was the village of Serre where they had been told there would be little resistance. Instead they were met by fire from German machine guns. By the end of the first hour of the battle, 1770 men from the Pals Battalions were casualties and no ground had been gained. CWGC Records show that 152 Officers and men of Charles’ Battalion were killed that day, another 12 dying of their wounds over the following week.
After the War Charles returned to Bradford and on 28 August 1920 married Alice May Walden in Holy Trinity Church, Leeds Road, Bradford. At that time Charles’ address was 65 Woodhall Avenue, Bradford, and he was employed as a ‘Driver‘.
Alice May died in the December quarter 1936 and in the March quarter 1938 Charles re-married, Ada Yeadon. The 1939 Return shows that Charles and Ada were living at 24 Binnie Street, Bradford, Yorkshire, where he was employed as a ‘Public Service Vehicle Driver’. Charles’ 22 year old daughter from his first marriage, Eunice, was also living with them.
Charles was still living at 24 Binnie Street, Bradford, when he died in St. Luke’s Hospital, Bradford, on 8 February 1958. He left £1464 9s 4d [£1464.47 – a relative value of about £44,000 today, 2023] to his widow, Ada. She died in the March quarter 1977, also in Bradford.
Sergeant 9845 Charles PRICE, D.C.M – At Christmas 1916 Charles was in receipt of one of the 87 ‘Tuck Boxes’ sent out to serving men from Ruskington. “The Sleaford Gazette” (23 December 1916) reported that he was one of those who had sent his thanks, saying: “Such a nice parcel, the contents of which I enjoyed very much indeed. I am sure it is extremely kind of you all to think of us lads out here. You will be pleased to hear I have been recommended for a commission.”
Charles was home on leave again in November 1917, arriving on the 1st. “The Sleaford Gazette” gives more information on his Service to date: “It is 13 months since he was here and since going back he has been made a Sergt.-Instructor at the Second Anzac Corps School, thus severing his connection for the time being with his old regiment. It is interesting to relate that Price is one of the original ‘Contemptible Little Army,’ having gone out in the first stage of the War.”
Charles’ Medal Index Card shows he served with the 3rd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, and, as a serving soldier, was posted to France with the B.E.F. on 12 August 1914. The 3rd Battalion received their orders on the 12th August 1914 at its base at Tidworth. They proceeded to France, landing at Rouen on 16 August. Charles enlisted as a band boy in the Worcesters in c. 1905.
The Battalion saw action at Mons and Le Cateau in August and September 1914 and also at the Battle of Messines in June 1917. Charles won his D.C.M. for his actions at Thiepval (Somme, France) on the 7 July 1916 (London Gazette, 22nd September 1916).
In its last edition of the year, 29 December, “The Sleaford Gazette” reported what it rightly called: “A unique experience in the annals of Ruskington history took place on Wednesday afternoon last by the presentation of the Distinguished Conduct Medal to Sergt. Chas. Rice of the 3rd Worcester Regt.”
Regrettably, however, throughout the whole, lengthy piece, the reporter used the surname ‘Rice’, whereas the brave soldier being so honoured was in fact Charles PRICE.
The Ruskington Volunteers under the command of 2nd Lieut. Mayfield and headed by the Town Band marched round the village to the entrance to the church near the Post Office. There was a very large company of friends and parishioners present, to hear Mr. Mellor read the following record of the gallant act from The Supplement of the ‘London Gazette’ of 22 September 1916.
“H.M. The King has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal to the undermentioned, now commissioned officer, for an act of gallantry and devotion to duty in the field. 9845 Sergt. Chas. Rice [sic], 6th Battalion, Worcesters.“
“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When all his officers bad been killed or wounded he took command and re-organised and consolidated the position under heavy fire with great courage and ability refusing to leave although wounded.”
Lieut. W. H. Brown then pinned the medal on Charles, The Volunteers at once fixed bayonets and presented arms when the band played “God save the King”.
Two weeks later, “The Sleaford Gazette” (12 January 1918) reported The Hon Secretary of the village Tuck Box Fund had received a large number of acknowledgments from the “boys” for the 10/- note [50p.] which had been sent to them for Christmas 1917 by the inhabitants of Ruskington. Charles was one of those who had sent his thanks, adding: “Thank kind friends for their gift and assure them it is a great pleasure to think such kind friends remember him.”
The “City of London at War 1939–45” by Stephen Wynn (2021), stated that “Charles Price D.C.M.” served as a Yeoman Warder in the Tower of London, 1935-40, and his Regiment had been the Worcesters. The 1939 Register shows his birth date as 21 September 1890 and that he living with his wife, Hilda E., at The Tower. However, no link has been made to the Ruskington area through Census Records, BMDs etc.
Private 203757 Frank Thomas PURNELL – was born on 3 August 1897, the son of William Ernest (Joiner) and Emmeline (née Tong) Purnell. He had 5 older siblings, Sydney Ernest (born 19 August 1896), Florence Annie (b. 16 July 1900), William Henry (b. January 1903), Nellie Evelyn (b. January 1905) and Alfred George (b. 21 May 1906) and a younger brother, Edgar (b. 31 October 1898). When Frank enlisted, aged nearly 19, he stood 5 ft. 8 ins. [1.73 m.] tall.
Frank’s younger brother, Boy Seaman, 1st Class, Edgar PURNELL, enlisted in the Royal Navy on 15 February 1915. He served on H.M.S. Hampshire, and was killed in action on 5th June 1916 – the same date and ship that saw the death of the War Minister, Lord Kitchener.
Between Alfred’s birth and the next Census (1911 RG 14/19618) Edgar’s mother had died and the family moved to Manor Street, Ruskington.
Emmeline was only 33 when she died in January/February 1909. She was buried in Grave B. 65, Ruskington Cemetery, Old Plot. When Frank’s father, William Ernest, applied for a Pension for his son, Edgar, he gave his address as first Manor Street, but later this was changed to “19 Gloucester Terrace, Weymouth, Dorset“. He died in Weymouth in the March quarter 1952, aged 77, and his cremated remains interred with Emmeline.
When Frank enlisted at Grantham, aged 18 years 9 months, in 1916, he gave his employment as “Motor Mechanic” and living with his widowed father at Manor Street. It is not surprising that he enlisted in the Army Service (Motor Transport) on 25 May 1915. He was not, however, mobilised until a year later – 25 May 1916.
On 25 January 1917 Frank sailed on the S.S. Queen Alexandra from Southampton to Le Havre and was posted to 283 Motor Transport Company, attached to 234 Siege Battery. Along with many others in the M.T., Frank moved to a number of different Companies, ending up in May 1918 with ‘886’ Company.
Frank remained in Service until September 1919, before being posted to “Dispersal Camp“. He was transferred to the Class “Z”Army Reserve on demobilisation on 25 October 1919.
The 1939 Return shows Frank lodging he home of Bridget Spratt on Silver Street, Ruskington, and working as a ‘Motor Mechanic’. He was 55 when he married Lucy Parker in the December quarter 1952. He died on 22 November 1985 in the Grantham area.
A.B. F.52069 Joseph George REAST – was born in Ruskington, Lincolnshire, on 12 January 1900. He was the son of Harvey (Joiner) and Martha Anders (née Seymour) Reast and in 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) was living at 20 High Street North, Ruskington, with his older brother, John Thomas, and younger sister, Sarah. According to his Enlistment Papers he stood 5 ft. 7¾ ins. [1.72 m.] tall, had dark brown hair and grey eyes, and was employed as a “Motor Mechanic”.
By 1911 (Census RG 14/19618) three more children had been added to the family, Nora Elma and Mary and the family had moved to 1 West Field Cottages, Rectory Road, Ruskington. Another brother, Robert, was born in the June quarter 1912.
[N.B. Pt. 1431 John Thomas REAST served with the 10th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment and Died of wounds in 20th General Hospital, Camiers on 12th May 1917.]
Joseph enlisted in the Royal Navy on 8 March 1918 and underwent training at HMS President II at Cosford. He was, however, discharged soon afterwards on 31 March 1918. However, Royal Air Force Airmen Records, 1918-1940 show him serving with that Service during the same period.
In the June quarter 1925 Joseph married Laura Alice Hill in the East Retford District, Nottinghamshire. In 1939 William was living at 40 Crompton Road, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, with three members of the Reast family [probably brother and family]. However, Laura was living at 27 The Green, East Retford, Nottinghamshire, with their daughters, Kathleen and Mary.
Private 12947 William ROBINSON – was born on 27 November 1890 at 14 Providence Square, Sleaford, (1891 Census RG 12/2578) the son of Benjamin (Farm Labourer) and Mary (née Hopkinson) Robinson. He had an older sister, Florence, two older brothers, Percy and Walter, and ten younger siblings, Joseph, George, Frederick, Mary Ann, Harold B., Alfred, Albert, Clarice Eveling, Arthur Edward and Ethel.
By 1901 (Census RG 13/3048) the family had moved to Knipton, Ruskington, and the 1911 Census (RG 14/19618) shows the ever growing family still at the same address, with William employed as an “Agricultural Labourer“.
William enlisted in the 7th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, during September 1914 (probably the 11th), was trained at Broughton and Winchester Camps. ‘The Lincolnshire Chronicle’ [27 November 1915] reported that he: “… is now in France with the 1st line transports of the Regiment. ”
There are a number of men named ‘William Robinson‘ enlisted in the Lincolnshire Regiment matching the details found in the local press. By comparing the Service Number ‘our’ William is most likely Private 12947, who was posted to France on 14 July 1915. This coincides with the History of the 7th (Service) Battalion, formed at Lincoln in September 1914 as part of Kitchener;s Second New Army, which landed at Boulogne on 14 July 1915.
The Battalion spent its initial period of trench familiarisation and then holding the front lines in the southern area of the Ypres salient, was involved in fighting at the Bluff (south east of Ypres on the Comines canal), part of a number of engagements officially known as the Actions of Spring 1916..
… about the Silver War Badge
William married Florence Foster in the March quarter 1920, in the Sleaford District, probably in Ruskington. The 1939 Census Return shows William and Florence living at Low Fields, Ruskington, with three of their children, Percy, Vera and Kate. William was working as a ‘Farm Labourer’.
Private 3706 Frederick Joseph RUSSELL and Sapper 25681 George Wells RUSSELL – the sons of Joseph and Sarah Ann (née Wells) Russell. They were part of a large family and had three older sisters, Gertrude (born 1891), Jessie (b. 1892) and Beatrice (b. 1893). George was born on 19 August 1896 and Frederick two years later, in the June quarter 1898. Hannah May (b. 1899), Robert (b. 1901) and Kenneth Bedford (b. 1909) completed the family.
Joseph (Domestic Groom)and Sarah Ann originally lived in Sibsey, near Horncastle, Lincolnshire, (1891 Census RG 12/2572) before moving to Brauncewell, Lincolnshire (1901 Census RG 13/3051). By the time the youngest son, Kenneth, was born, however, Joseph and Sarah, with their younger children, including George and Frederick. were living at Station Road, Ruskington (1911 Census RG 14/19618).
Private (3706) Frederick Joseph RUSSELL. It is not known when Fred enlisted in the West Yorkshire Regiment. “The Sleaford Gazette” of 13 October 1917 reported that he: “… has been seriously wounded and is now in Hospital at Stratford-on-Avon where he is progressing as well as can be expected.”.
Little has been found of Fred after the War. It is possible he married Charlotte Maria Robinson at St James’ Church, Littlehampton, Sussex, on 31 August 1929, but this has not been confirmed. Despite being seriously wounded there is no record of an application for a Pension.
Corporal 375928 George Wells RUSSELL George enlisted in the Royal Engineers on 13 March 1918 at Lincoln. At the time he was 21 years 206 days old, weighed 9 st. 9 lbs. [61.2 kgs], had dark brown hair, brown eyes, and a ‘dark’ complexion. George stood 5 ft. 6¾ ins. [1.69 m] tall and was working as a “P.O. Engineer“. He was immediately posted to the Reserve but re-mustered on 30 September 1918 as a “Trade Field Lineman – Dismounted“.
George was “Drafted to B.E.F. Egypt” on 7 February 1919 to “Acting Signal Section 10” and promoted to Lance Corporal. His final moved came with a promotion to Corporal with the “3rd Indian Div. Signal Coy. No. 5” on 2 December 1919 and posted to Syria. He embarked from Alexandria for home on 24 February 1920, as a “Casualty“. On 20 April 1920 George was posted to Class ‘Z’ Reserve (“No longer fit for War Service“).
In the June quarter 1927 George married Constance Ivy Coe, in Spalding, Lincolnshire. Their daughter, Joyce E., was born on 20 April 1933. In 1939 (Register) they were living at 81 Woodville Road, Boston. Both Constance and George died at that address, Constance on 31 August 1964, aged 62, and George on 28 February 1983, aged 86.